Some years ago, an elder told me that characteristics we don’t like about others are flaws we see in ourselves. I didn’t quite understand the statement. I pondered on it instead of asking for further explanation. I thought to myself, does it mean that everyone I have issues with are reflecting traits I don’t like about myself? So, for example, if I recognize that someone is selfish, is it because I, too, am selfish? No way!
Mo dupe Orí! Over time I have come to realize that the things we dislike most about others are, in fact, sometimes character flaws we subconsciously see in ourselves. When presented with a reflection of those characteristics through others, it disturbs something within us and causes uneasiness. Therefore, our reaction toward them are negatively amplified. Like Osun’s mirror, people can also become mirrors of reflection that reveal truths about us.
I’m not saying that what we dislike about others, or causes us to dislike them are all attributed to flaws that we ourselves hold. What I am saying is that it’s worth investigating. This can be bitter medicine to swallow but for the sake of personal growth we must be courageous enough to acknowledge, at least to ourselves, when areas of our own character need to be augmented.
About two months ago I received my first Ib’ori. This process of placating one’s head is similar to but not quite the same as a rogation. I can’t begin to explain how much my mind has expanded since then. It caused a shift in my viewpoints and perspectives. It has also brought me a great deal of clarity. Things that were right in front of me but went unnoticed, suddenly became noticeable. The Ib’ori has lifted the veil off my eyes about many things including some areas of my own character.
Recognizing faulted reflections of me in others helped me to realize that in order to function and respectably represent myself as a Yoruba Priestess, there are aspects of me that I need to work on. It gave me front row seating to how those traits have affected my relationships with others. I constantly pray to be developed into the character that represents the principles of Ifá well. Therefore, when I am shown ways to improve, I must take heed and be courageous enough to confront my shortcomings and work toward becoming a better me.
We are not perfect. We are works in progress. And that’s OK! Here on earth, is our training ground, our marketplace where we are must to do the work needed to fulfill our destiny before returning to heaven. We must continue to build on who we are and how we project ourselves. This transformation comes in many ways and we must embrace all opportunities that are presented to us for the benefit of our own growth. One way is by recognizing that the flaws we see in others are sometimes traits that may be reflections of our own character.